Useful tourist information when visiting Mauritius

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yonne gices
le
Mauritius is an island covering an area of 1865km2 found in the middle of the Indian Ocean and approximately 900km off Madagascar. Formed by volcanic eruption some 7.8 million years ago, Mauritius is generally flat on the coasts and rises on the central plateau. It is colder and more humid on that part of the island as compared to the low lying areas which tend to be quite dry and sunny. Former British colony, Mauritius became an independent nation in 1968 with a fast level of development and flourishing economy and socio political peace given the multi cultural aspect of the island with people of Indian, African, Chinese and European origins.

Climate

Located in the inter tropical region, Mauritius enjoys a tropical climate all year long with average temperatures of 25°C. There are only two seasons: winter, from April to October, (average temperature 20°C) and summer, from November to March (average temperature 28°C). It is thus advised to bring light cotton clothing as the weather tends to be quite humid at times and all sticky; of course, surrounded completely by water there are a number of beaches to check out, so do not forget to pack your swimwear. You may find mosquitoes quite annoying too, so get some mosquito repellent especially for children.

Visa requirements

It is crucial to have a visa to enter Mauritius. The best thing to do is to consult the Mauritian embassy in your country or consulate regarding visa procedures before coming to Mauritius. It is an offence to be on the island without a visa which can lead to a lawsuit. Normally, with a valid passport and return ticket, a tourist/visit/business visa of two weeks to one month may be issued on arrival. Extension can then be made at the Passport and Immigration Office in Port Louis if required. Mauritius does not recognise visas from a number of places and so it is necessary to check this with your embassy first.

General information for tourists coming to Mauritius

The official language in Mauritius is English but it is spoken by less than 1% of the population; the most common languages are Creole, French and Bhojpuri. The currency is the Mauritian rupee (1£=Rs50) and money change can be done at the airport or at a number of banks (international banks such as Barclays, HSBC)/money changer found all over the island. Credit cards and cheques are accepted in many shops though a fee of 15% tax is applicable on bought goods; however, there is a refund at the airport for certain items like jewellery if necessary arrangements are made at duty free shops. There are many shopping malls on the island offering world known products like Calvin Klein, Tommy Hillfiger etc at lower prices compared to many countries; they are opened from 10am to 5pm on weekdays and Saturdays while few work for half days on Sundays. All shops in Rose Hill, Quatre Bornes and Curepipe close at noon on Thursdays. Most restaurants offer alcohol though it is prohibited to smoke in public places; restaurants providing lunch usually close at 3pm and reopen at 6pm for dinner services. Driving is on the left hand side of the road and you can use your foreign driving licence to drive in Mauritius once the necessary arrangements have been made at the police headquarters in Port Louis.

There are internet facilities with a maximum speed of 2M as well as direct telephone and fax services. It is illegal to carry drugs and such items which can lead to heavy penalties. A permit is required from the Ministry of Agro Industries to carry animals and plants. Nudism is not tolerated on the beaches though topless sunbathing is accepted. Tipping is not necessary in Mauritius. There are 15 public holidays, 7 of them with fixed dates (1st and 2nd January – New year, 1st February – Abolition of slavery, 12th March – Independence Day, 1st May – Labour Day, 2nd November – Arrival of Indentured labourers, 25th December - Christmas) and the others being flexible religious ones.

yonne
yonne Published 02 Aug 2011

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6 Comments

le
lenie 12 Sep 2012

im a mauritian wife from philippines and holding filipino passport, do i need visa to visit mauritius?

gices 12 Sep 2012

If you'll be travelling on your Filipino passport, then you'll need a visa when visiting Mauritius.

This link shows citizens of which countries are exempted from visa requirements and which ones have to arrange for one before travelling.

Use your Mauritian passport if you can.

le
lenie 14 Sep 2012

last year i visit mauritius but i dont have visa, my husband accompanied me. Is marriage contract from civil office of mauritius not enough?

gices 14 Sep 2012

As far as I know, when you go through immigration at the airport, all the officers want to see is your passport and the visa. Their job is to ascertain you're allowed to enter the country and it is not their responsibility to check your marriage certificate or other qualifying documents to prove you're a citizen of this country. We have different authorities for that.

Can you imagine being in the queue behind a person who does not have the right visa and the officer needs to check other paperwork they've brought? That wouldn't be very nice...

I'd advise you to get your mauritian passport sorted out or get a valid visa on your foreign passport to avoid any problems. Btw you did you travel to Mauritius last time? Under what passport and visa?

le
lenie 14 Sep 2012

I dont have any visa last time , my Philippine passport was used on that time and my husband who's mauritian citizen was accompanied me . I traveled to mauritius for two times already. First was 2009 i have visa on that time because i just visit to get married, second 2011 no visa but i was pregnant that time and was stayed at mauritius for three and half months. Now i was planning to go there for only 15 days but i did not get visa yet. thats why im asking if i need it ?

le
lenie 14 Sep 2012

Is there no other visa exemption to go to mauritius?